Studio NAARO

Left to Right: Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Yinchuan, China, by waa (we architech anonymous). Investcorp Building, Oxford, UK, by Zaha Hadid Architects. M by Montcalm Shoreditch, London, by By Squire & Partners and 5plus architects. Images © NAARO

Left to Right: Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Yinchuan, China, by waa (we architech anonymous). Investcorp Building, Oxford, UK, by Zaha Hadid Architects. M by Montcalm Shoreditch, London, by By Squire & Partners and 5plus architects. Images © NAARO

In Focus is Archinect’s recurring series dedicated to profiling the photographers who help make the work of architects look that much better. What has attracted them to architecture? How do they work? What type of equipment do they use? What do they think about seeing their work in blogs?

For this installment, we interviewed Studio NAARO in London founded by Freya Najade and Marcela Spadaro.

What is your relationship with architecture?

Marcela Spadaro: I studied Architecture and Urbanism in Argentina and following my studies I moved to London to work as an architect with Zaha Hadid. Zaha was an incredible experience that lasted 10 years and taught me not only about architecture, but also -by giving me the opportunity to work on projects in so many different parts of the world- it taught me a lot about working & collaborating with other creatives internationally. It’s fantastic to be able to use these skills now in a very different context with NAARO, where we are dedicated to document contemporary architecture around the world. I have also taught Architecture and have been an invited critic and lecturer in architecture schools across Europe and Latin America. So architecture has been a passion of mine for many years now.

Freya Najade: My relationship to architecture has come through photography. My background is in Documentary Photography and prior to forming NAARO I have been interested in the documentation of architecture mostly in connection with its social environment. With NAARO I continue to look at both the social and built environments, however architecture has shifted to the center of the documentations. I love this new focus – to be completely immersed in a space and to pay attention to the smallest detail but also to make sense of it as a whole and then to translate these perceptions into images that hopefully allow others to experience a slice of that space without being there. I really like to explore my surroundings taking pictures and being now able to investigate architecture in this way is very exciting for me.

Minima | Maxima, Expo 2017 Astana, Kazakhstan, by Marc Fornes / TheVeryMany. Image (construction phase) © NAARO

Minima | Maxima, Expo 2017 Astana, Kazakhstan, by Marc Fornes / TheVeryMany. Image (construction phase) © NAARO

Minima | Maxima, Expo 2017 Astana, Kazakhstan, by Marc Fornes / TheVeryMany. Image (construction phase) © NAARO

Minima | Maxima, Expo 2017 Astana, Kazakhstan, by Marc Fornes / TheVeryMany. Image (construction phase) © NAARO

What drew you to architecture, as a photographer?

FN: For both Marcela and I our passion for architectural photography began with NAARO. We had both been very much drawn to each other’s work and when I received a commission from an architect to photograph one of their recently completed buildings, it seemed like a great opportunity for us to bridge our different expertise and to apply them to the project. We both enjoyed that first collaboration so much that the idea of forming NAARO emerged and since then we have worked on a lot of architectural documentations together.

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Yinchuan, China, by waa (we architech anonymous). Image © NAARO

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Yinchuan, China, by waa (we architech anonymous). Image © NAARO

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Yinchuan, China, by waa (we architech anonymous). Image © NAARO

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Yinchuan, China, by waa (we architech anonymous). Image © NAARO

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Yinchuan, China, by waa (we architech anonymous). Image © NAARO

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Yinchuan, China, by waa (we architech anonymous). Image © NAARO

Describe how you work… who are your clients?

MS: Our clients are mostly architects, however we also work with magazines and publishers who approach us to acquire our images. The architectural firms we work with are of very different profile, from practices that are mainly focused on large-scale projects such as office buildings in the middle of the city, to practices that work on very small installations and objects -and lately because of our drone photography we have also been approached to photograph landscape projects. This diversity of scales and projects is really exciting for us, as it allows us to think and work differently every time. In particular, in the last couple of years we have very much enjoyed working with a generation of young talented architects that push the boundaries of architecture through their work, raising questions that are important to us such as the way in which we live and how to make architecture more sustainable (through engineering & material optimization or the application of the logics of natural systems to architecture); among these architects are Lassa Architects, Marc Fornes & TheVeryMany, ecoLogicStudio, we architech anonymous and Achim Menges.

Villa Ypsilon, Finikounda, Greece, by LASSA Architects. Image © NAARO

Villa Ypsilon, Finikounda, Greece, by LASSA Architects. Image © NAARO

Villa Ypsilon, Finikounda, Greece, by LASSA Architects. Image © NAARO

Villa Ypsilon, Finikounda, Greece, by LASSA Architects. Image © NAARO

Villa Ypsilon, Finikounda, Greece, by LASSA Architects. Image © NA

Villa Ypsilon, Finikounda, Greece, by LASSA Architects. Image © NA

Villa Ypsilon, Finikounda, Greece, by LASSA Architects. Image © NAARO

Villa Ypsilon, Finikounda, Greece, by LASSA Architects. Image © NAARO

Do you mostly work in a specific region? What is your travel schedule like?

MS: Since the beginning of NAARO our aim has been to document contemporary architecture worldwide and we remain wishing to not be confined to a specific region. So far we have been very lucky to have the opportunity of working in very different contexts such as France, China, Germany, Kazakhstan, Greece, Taiwan, Denmark and the UK, to name some. In terms of our travelling schedule, this really changes very much depending on the commissions that we have and our commitments in London, where our studio is based and where we also teach architectural photography. For example the last 3 months have been very hectic in terms of travelling but we expect a quieter time in the month ahead; but we never know really!

Autobahnkirche Siegerland, Germany, by Schneider + Schumacher. Image © NAARO

Autobahnkirche Siegerland, Germany, by Schneider + Schumacher. Image © NAARO

Autobahnkirche Siegerland, Germany, by Schneider + Schumacher. Image © NAARO

Autobahnkirche Siegerland, Germany, by Schneider + Schumacher. Image © NAARO

Autobahnkirche Siegerland, Germany, by Schneider + Schumacher. Image © NAARO

Autobahnkirche Siegerland, Germany, by Schneider + Schumacher. Image © NAARO

What is your goal when capturing buildings in photographs?

FN: An important goal for us every time we photograph is to be able to identify and create key images that we feel convey the project we are documenting at its best. We distinguish this approach from the one that aims to take a lot of photographs of a building, covering all possible angles. We believe in creating fewer images that capture and communicate what is unique and exciting about a building. In this process the ‘location scouting’ we carry out at the beginning of each photo-shoot is crucial, as it is normally during this fresh look at the building that we are able to identify these images. Another very important goal for us is that we are able to fulfill our clients’ expectations and vision with regards to the photography of their buildings, which tend to be different from architect to architect. So prior to our photo-shoots we spend time understanding what these expectations may be, by either having a conversation with the architect, looking at how they have approached the photography of other projects in the past, going over the existing project material such as renders, or even at times doing a site-visit together with the client before the shoot.

Design Museum London, UK, by John Pawson, OMA & Allies and Morrison. Image © Yun Zhang+NAARO

Design Museum London, UK, by John Pawson, OMA & Allies and Morrison. Image © Yun Zhang+NAARO

Design Museum London, UK, by John Pawson, OMA & Allies and Morrison. Image © NAARO

Design Museum London, UK, by John Pawson, OMA & Allies and Morrison. Image © NAARO

What are your thoughts about including people in your photos? Is it important to photograph a building in use, or by itself?

MS: Generally we feel that including people in images is as important as capturing buildings by itself, and in an ideal scenario we would try to achieve both when documenting a project. In architecture the human figure has traditionally been used in drawings to indicate the scale of a building, how big the building is in relation to the figure. In recent years and in particular in relation to avant-garde contemporary built architecture -where for example traditional doors of 2m height may be missing- the human figure becomes relevant in photography partly with the same purpose: to give the viewer a sense of the scale of a building. In addition to this, when these kind of avant-garde spaces -often referred to as self referential and formalistic- are portrayed being used and enjoyed by many people, these images become a sort of conveyor of the project’s success. For this reason, having their projects portrayed with people is an aspect generally valued by most architectural practices building large-scale projects today, and in particular public buildings.

The Winton Gallery, Science Museum, London, UK, by Zaha Hadid Architects. Image © NAARO

The Winton Gallery, Science Museum, London, UK, by Zaha Hadid Architects. Image © NAARO

The Winton Gallery, Science Museum, London, UK, by Zaha Hadid Architects © NAARO

The Winton Gallery, Science Museum, London, UK, by Zaha Hadid Architects © NAARO

What are your favourite pieces of equipment?

FN: So far we have worked with Nikon and Canon equipment, both of which we very much like for different reasons. However we have recently acquired a CANON 5D Mark IV which we are completely in love with! The image quality is simply stunning and also features like wireless connectivity to a smart device and an amazing touch focusing screen make the photo shoot itself even more fun. The Canon tilt and shift 17mm lens is also a great piece of equipment for its fantastic sharpness and overall quality. And of course our drone! Which allows us to capture a dimension of buildings we were not always able to reach before.

Investcorp Building, Oxford, UK, by Zaha Hadid Architects. Image © NAARO

Investcorp Building, Oxford, UK, by Zaha Hadid Architects. Image © NAARO

Do you work alone?

FN: In general yes, and this is very much possible because of our choice of photography gear and post-production workflow, that allow us to photograph without having to carry a lot of equipment to site. In terms of our partnership Marcela and I sometimes work together and sometimes alone, depending on the commission and complexity of the project. The photo-shoots we are working on together are especially large-scale projects and interiors. In the latter, a great part of our efforts is spent arranging furniture and objects and this is something we like to collaborate on.

Concert Hall Blaibach, Blaibach, Germany, by peter haimerl . architektur. Image © NAARO

Concert Hall Blaibach, Blaibach, Germany, by peter haimerl . architektur. Image © NAARO

Concert Hall Blaibach, Blaibach, Germany, by peter haimerl . architektur. Image © NAARO

Concert Hall Blaibach, Blaibach, Germany, by peter haimerl . architektur. Image © NAARO

Concert Hall Blaibach, Blaibach, Germany, by peter haimerl . architektur. Image © NAARO

Concert Hall Blaibach, Blaibach, Germany, by peter haimerl . architektur. Image © NAARO

How do you feel about seeing your photographs on blogs and websites?

MS: We are always very happy when blogs and websites take an interest in our work by showing our images!

Freya Najade and Marcela Spadaro, NAARO Founders & Photographers

Freya Najade and Marcela Spadaro, NAARO Founders & Photographers

the photographers who help make the work of architects look that much better:Jim Stephenson

Blavatnik School of Goverment by Herzog & De Meuron in Oxford UK. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

Blavatnik School of Goverment by Herzog & De Meuron in Oxford UK. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

In Focus is Archinect’s series of features dedicated to profiling the photographers who help make the work of architects look that much better. What has attracted them to architecture? How do they work? What type of equipment do they use? What do they think about seeing their work in blogs?

In this feature, we talk to Brighton-based the photographers who help make the work of architects look that much better..

You’re a trained architect. Tell us where you studied architecture.

I studied BSc Architectural Technology at Brighton University. At the time (about 16 or 17 years ago), it was a very new course that was designed to bridge a gap between architect and engineer. This appealed to me a lot since my passion was architecture, but I grew up with a civil engineer as a father! In practice, after graduating, I was doing the same role as a Part II or III graduate. Lots of detailing, initially some door and window schedules, then more design work, with a technical edge, and eventually running a few jobs. I enjoyed detailing the most, working with a senior architect who had done the overall design, and figuring out ways to build it that kept as much of that together as possible.

Where did your interest in architecture originate? What drove you to actually get into architecture as a profession?

I’m not sure I ever thought of anything else. Maybe I once wanted to be a footballer. Or more specifically, I wanted to be Kenny Dalglish. Dad worked from home, so there was always a drawing board and lots of trace around the house. And Rotring pens being cleaned in the kitchen sink. That must have had a significant influence on me, although coming from an engineering background, he had a natural distrust of architects, so maybe going into architecture was my one act of small rebellion.

Blavatnik School of Goverment by Herzog & De Meuron in Oxford UK. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

Blavatnik School of Goverment by Herzog & De Meuron in Oxford UK. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

How did you end up in photography? Was the switch intentional?

I think it was about six years ago. I’d left a smaller local practice to join a higher profile studio, but it was right at the beginning of the recession. Within a year or so, we had had three rounds of redundancies, and I left with the third round. Most of my roles were on the later stages of work—production information and things like that—and since nothing was being built, there wasn’t really any need for me. For six months, I did some freelance work on smaller local jobs (house extensions and loft conversions mostly) and more and more photography, before returning to my old job once things had picked up a bit in the industry. By then though, I’d enjoyed my taste of running my own work, so I dropped to part time and a couple of months later, left entirely to pursue photography. I’d also become quite disillusioned with working ‘in’ architecture—I’d lost the enthusiasm to argue with planners, or see bits of the design I’d worked on being value engineered out.

Describe your current field of work. How do you typically get commissions?

For the last six years or so, I’ve moved into architectural photography. I travel around taking photographs of other people’s buildings, trying to find ways to represent the intent of the designer, how the building is used and the feeling you get when you are there, in photographs. Which isn’t easy! Most of my commissions come directly from architects and designers, occasionally from magazines and sometimes I will photograph a building on spec if it’s in the area I’m visiting on another commission, and I think I’ll enjoy it.

I also create short films and documentaries about architecture and design as well, working with a filmmaker friend of mine, Edward Bishop.

Laban Dance Centre by Herzog & De Meuron, London UK. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

Laban Dance Centre by Herzog & De Meuron, London UK. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

What is your goal when capturing buildings in photographs? 

Doesn’t “capturing buldings” sound so dramatic!? Like I’m a Bond villain, stealing the world’s landmarks! Anyway, yes, when I’m photographing buildings, there’s a series of themes and elements I’m trying to show, sometimes individually and sometimes a few in one image.

The architect’s intent is always important. I like to talk with the designer beforehand to get an idea of the ways in which they wanted their work to be considered, interacted with and used. I am trying to translate that into a photograph, which can be difficult as sometimes those intents can be quite abstract. Of course, sometimes (quite often in fact), the public will use the structure or building in ways no-one could have expected! I enjoy trying to show that too. People are very important to my work, so I’m trying to show that human interaction with structure and space.

The architect’s intent is always important. I like to talk with the designer beforehand to get an idea of the ways in which they wanted their work to be considered, interacted with and used.

There’s other things too, like the texture and make up of the materials and how they meet each other. The play of light and shadow and the context. With every work of great architecture, there’s at least one moment of joy. Those moments can be down to something simple like a beautiful detail, or something more dramatic. It could be a tactile material choice, a beautiful relationship to context or a space that improves lives. Those moments of joy are what I’m trying to get across, in some small way.

In essence, a photograph can never quite live up to the feeling of actually experiencing these buildings in person, but I’m trying to find some way to provide a teaser to what you might expect. A temptation that might encourage the viewer to visit, or at least relate to them some of the key intents and best moments.

Weston Library by Wilkinson Eyre, Oxford UK. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

Weston Library by Wilkinson Eyre, Oxford UK. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

Tate Switch House by Herzog & De Meuron, London. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

Tate Switch House by Herzog & De Meuron, London. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

Do you mostly work in a specific region? What is your travel schedule like? 

I live in Brighton on the South coast of England. It’s only an hour to London, so most of my work is in and around London. That said, the beauty of this job is that it allows me to travel. I’ve been all over the world this year. I’d say on average this year, I’ve done at least one shoot a month that is out of the UK. As I write this, I’m on the Eurostar to Ghent.

For some reason, I’ve spent a lot of time in Oxford and Manchester this year photographing buildings, too. There seems to have been a lot of interesting things happening there lately.

The Silver House by Jordi Garcés Arquitectes, Costa Brava. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

The Silver House by Jordi Garcés Arquitectes, Costa Brava. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

What are your thoughts about including people in your photos? Is it important to photograph a building in use, or by itself? 

I think this differs a great deal from photographer to photographer (and architect to architect). Personally, I prefer to have people in my photographs of architecture, using the space in one way or another. When I used to work in architecture practices, all the design work we did was aimed at improving the life of people—form and function. We designed to human scale, with the plan aimed at navigation and materials to be tactile, to be touched, so when I switched to photography, it didn’t make sense to forget all that human interaction.

That isn’t to say that all images have to have people in them. When I’m photographing a building, I’m usually thinking about the series of images I’m creating, rather than an individual image. I’m looking to create a photo essay that can be run as a story or feature on websites or in magazines. Depending on the building, around two-thirds of the pictures might depict people using the space and the rest might have no people in, but show interesting details, abstract compositions or moments of light and shadow.

Aquatic Centre by Zaha Hadid, London UK. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

Aquatic Centre by Zaha Hadid, London UK. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

What are your favourite pieces of equipment? 

I have a high-vis jacket that serves as an access-all-areas pass. That’s pretty handy.

Do you work alone? 

Generally, yes. If I’m just doing photographs, I tend to work alone and do all the editing myself as this is part of the whole process. That said, I do think to some degree that every shoot is a collaboration with the designer, so I guess I’m not entirely working alone. When I work abroad, depending on the client, I often have a fixer or a local assistant to help with getting around, access, permissions, etc. etc. That allows me to just concentrate on taking photos.

I have a high-vis jacket that serves as an access-all-areas pass. That’s pretty handy.

When I’m working on the short architectural films we do, I work alongside a filmmaker friend of mine, Edward Bishop. His background is in music and commercial video and mine is in architecture and photography, so we combine our knowledge. On films, we’ll also quite often have an assistant with us to help carry equipment around and work on the sound, and we often work with Gabriel Gane who is an excellent young editor. Whereas photography lends itself to working alone, I think filmmaking is quite the opposite and requires a range of skills, so it lends itself to collaboration a lot more. I don’t think I prefer either way of working, but I do like to try and keep a pretty even balance.

Burntwood School by AHMM, London UK. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

Burntwood School by AHMM, London UK. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

Looking back, what skills—be it from architecture school or your years as a practicing architect—do you value the most in your day-to-day operations as an architectural photographer?

I think the most practical skill is being able to converse meaningfully about a piece of architecture with the architect or designer. My degree, and probably more significantly the work I did in architecture practices, means I can talk to some degree about influence, concept, intent, materials, the plan, elevational treatment, materials and some of the technical aspects. This is very useful at the briefing stage.

I think it also probably changes how I look at buildings as well. Maybe it’s helped me see different compositions and details. Or at least see those compositions and details in a different way.

The Whitworth Art Gallery by MUMA, Manchester UK. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

The Whitworth Art Gallery by MUMA, Manchester UK. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

Ever thought about leaving photography for architecture practice again?

No, not at all. I really love what I do! I occasionally miss sketching, but I can do that anytime. I think my career working in architecture practices had come to a pretty natural end. As I mentioned, I’d lost the enthusiasm I had which meant that I didn’t have the drive anymore to push planners and clients further. I think that’s really critical, in the UK at least. It’s a shame, but so many of the great buildings built in the last ten or twenty years here have been designed and built with some degree of friction present along the way, whether it be having to convince the planners on something they’re unsure about or trying to find the balance between falling over backwards for the client and instilling some of your own ideas into a project. The good architects know which battles to fight and have the drive and determination to see it through.

With photography, I’m able to spend my time in the company of some truly beautiful buildings. All my enthusiasm and drive is now derived from that—I get very excited when I arrive at a new job and it’s a beautiful work of architecture. It’s a real honour to do that for a living.

Jim Stephenson by James Kendall. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

Jim Stephenson by James Kendall. Courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

Jim Stephenson — Bio:

Jim trained as an architectural technologist and worked in the industry for nearly ten years. Since then, he has been working as a photography full time documenting buildings and spaces as well as running Miniclick Photography Talks, Design Brighton and the Threshold Archtecture hub. In addition he co-produces the web series Lightbulb.

His work has been publicised in The Sunday Times; The Guardian; The Observer; The Evening Standard; The New York Times; The Financial Times among others and his clients include Allies & Morrison; Studio Weave; Grimshaw Architects; Sou Fujimoto Architects; FAT and Ordinary Architecture; Rick Mather Architects; Conran & Partners; KSS, Squire & Partners; Carl Turner Architects; Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; NORD; Heneghan Peng Architects; Nicholas Hare Architects; M&C Saatchi and many more.

See more of his work on his website.

Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and Science to host an international art fair

Image via wikimedia.org

Image via wikimedia.org

The Palace of Culture and Science, a 237 meter tall socialist realist high-rise, towers over the city of Warsaw, Poland. Given as a “gift” to the Polish people by the Soviet Union, the building was originally called the Joseph Stalin Palace of Culture and Science. It was built between 1952 and 1955 and, for many Varsovians, is an ugly reminder of the Stalinist era.

Now, it’s about to reinvest in its eponymous program with an international art fair. Hosting some 20 art galleries from Warsaw as well as other European cities, the “Not Fair” is schedule to open on September 22, 2016. Each gallery will present a solo show by one of their represented artist, which must take into account the “special character” of the Palace.

According to the founder of Not Fair, Michal Wolinski, the event is intended to “merge the mood and quality of an art exhibition with the opportunities that art fairs provide for cutting-edge galleries and young artists”.

h/t the Art Newspaper

For more news from Poland, check out these links:

Tbilisi Public Service Hall, Tbilisi, Georgia

The Tbilisi Public Service Hall is situated in the central area of the city and it overlooks the Kura river.

The building is made up of 7 volumes that contain offices (each volume is made up of 4 floors located on different levels). These volumes are placed around a “central public square”, which is the core of the project,  where there is the front office services. Offices are connected to each other by internal footbridges that stretches on different levels.

Volumes and the central public space are towered above by 11 big “petals” that are independent both formally and structurally from the rest of the building. Three of those big petals covers the central space. The petals, different for their geometry and dimension, reaches almost 35 meters and they are supported by a structure of steel pillars with a tree shape, visible, as well as the petals, externally and internally from the building.

Among the petals, that are at different levels, are the glass facades. The main characteristic of these facades is that these have been released completely from the structure of the petals, allowing relative movements between the facade and the spatial network structure of coverage. This decision was taken to prevent that any movement of the cover, mainly due to oscillations for snow loads, wind or thermal expansion, can lead to the crisis of the glass.

The Tbilisi Public Service Hall includes: the National Bank of Georgia, the Minister of Energy, the Civil and National Registry.

The Tbilisi Public Service Hall is situated in the central area of the city and it overlooks the Kura river.

The building is made up of 7 volumes that contain offices (each volume is made up of 4 floors located on different levels). These volumes are placed around a “central public square”, which is the core of the project,  where there is the front office services. Offices are connected to each other by internal footbridges that stretches on different levels.

Volumes and the central public space are towered above by 11 big “petals” that are independent both formally and structurally from the rest of the building. Three of those big petals covers the central space. The petals, different for their geometry and dimension, reaches almost 35 meters and they are supported by a structure of steel pillars with a tree shape, visible, as well as the petals, externally and internally from the building.

Among the petals, that are at different levels, are the glass facades. The main characteristic of these facades is that these have been released completely from the structure of the petals, allowing relative movements between the facade and the spatial network structure of coverage. This decision was taken to prevent that any movement of the cover, mainly due to oscillations for snow loads, wind or thermal expansion, can lead to the crisis of the glass.

The Tbilisi Public Service Hall includes: the National Bank of Georgia, the Minister of Energy, the Civil and National Registry.

 Read more

 

Status: Built
Location: Tbilisi, GE

Donald Trump is architecture’s nightmare client

Trump undertakes the design shouting phase. Image: wonkette

Trump undertakes the design shouting phase. Image: wonkette

Two weeks ago at the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump’s daughter introduced him as a man who has overseen the construction of skyscrapers, thereby qualifying him to somehow take stead of the vastly more complex civic architecture of the United States. Never mind that Donald Trump doesn’t necessarily pay the architects he hires, making him less of an overseer and more of a cheap tyrant (with a terrible, reductive aesthetic sense, to boot). This tendency to inaccurately appropriate architecture is a theme within the Trump family—Melania made up an entire degree—but what Duo Dickinson notes over at CommonEdge is that Trump’s blowhardism is counter to what architecture is: notably, an exchange of ideas, and a conversation about how best to implement those ideas. As Duo writes:

Agreement with the Donald is being right, anything else puts you in the other side of him—wrong and disqualified; not a great place for an architect if he’s your client and radically divisive even in a time of extreme political discord in America.

For more on the intersection of politics and architecture:

Brexit’s effect on Architecture

Last Thursday, Great Britain voted to leave the European Union, with a margin of 52% to 48%. The result was a huge surprise—especially for those in creative industries like architecture, many of whom publicly supported the Remain campaign. While no official exit strategy is yet in place, within hours of the ‘Brexit’ vote becoming clear, the British pound dropped 10% in value against the US dollar (the lowest it’s been since the 1980s). Prime Minister David Cameron resigned shortly after, and many British architects are wondering what the hell will happen now.

Speaking from his position as Principal Lecturer at the Manchester School of Architecture, Rob Hyde joined us on the podcast this week to talk about the mood in the UK post-Brexit, and how architects are carrying on. Let us know what you think of the Brexit decision in the comments.

Listen to episode 70 of Archinect Sessions, “A Bit of Nervousness”:

Shownotes:

Rob Hyde’s reference to the “Overton window” shift of perspective around Brexit

Harriet Harriss on Brexit in Architects’ Journal (paywall)

The Spectator article Rob references, accusing MP Boris Johnson of lying

Searches for “what is the EU” spike after Brexit decision

 

Chelsea Eco Duplex

Select materials & two identical units blend into a healthy family home.

With the arrival of a new member, this family of five had outgrown their 2-bedroom loft in a prominent Chelsea building and chose to expand by purchasing the identical apartment above.

Status: Built
Location: New York, NY, US

 To rework the 3600sf space, the existing units were completely gut-renovated.  The lower floor was transformed into a family realm including a large eat-in kitchen, a substantial playroom and an adult living/dining area.
 A new wood and steel staircase opens into the upper living quarters, featuring a study, laundry room, three children’s bedrooms and a south-facing master suite.
 As an owner priority, we incorporated extensive health-conscious systems and materials and dedicated a substantial effort to improving the thermal and acoustical performance of the exterior walls.
  The owners’ love of contemporary American craft details is evident throughout the space in several custom millwork pieces.
This project maintains their appreciation for loft living while supporting a functional life with 3 young children.

2016 Matsumoto Prize Online Voting Now Open

Composite of the 2016 Matsumoto Prize nominees.

Composite of the 2016 Matsumoto Prize nominees.

Recognizing excellence in North Carolina Modernist residential design

Online voting for the 2016 George Matsumoto Prize: Recognizing Excellence in North Carolina Modernist Residential Design, begins today at:

https://ncmhcompetitions.squarespace.com

The 2016 Matsumoto Prize, supported by the McAdams Foundation, includes public voting to determine three “People’s Choice” winners. Anyone may vote by email (one time per email address) for his or her favorite entry starting today and running through June 29.

The Matsumoto Prize is named for George Matsumoto, FAIA, an eminent Modernist architect well-known for exceptional residential designs.

Matsumoto also serves as Honorary Chair for the Prize’s blue-ribbon jury of professional architects who select the Jury Award winners of cash prizes from a pool of $6000.

“These entries inspire people dreaming of a Modernist house to know Modernist design is affordable, efficient, sustainable, and most importantly, a house their families will love for decades,” said NCMH executive director George Smart. “We’re looking forward to record-breaking participation in this year’s online voting.”

Online voting ends at 5 p.m. EST, June 29. 

For more information about the 2016 Matsumoto Prize, go to www.ncmodernist.org/prize2016.

About North Carolina Modernist Houses: 

North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) is an award-winning, 501C3 nonprofit organizations established in 2007 and dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design. This year, the American Institute of Architects awarded NCMH founder and director George Smart its Collaborative Achievement Award for his work with NCMH. The website www.ncmodernist.org is now the largest open digital archive for Modernist residential design in America. NCMH also hosts popular architecture events every month and frequent home tours, giving the public access to the most exciting residential architecture, past and present. These tours and events raise awareness and help preserve these “livable works of art” for future generations. For more information: www.ncmodernist.org. Find NCMH on Facebook. Follow NCMH on Twitter and Instagram.

London Festival of Architecture 2016 – events not to miss

Image via thespaces.com

Image via thespaces.com

With the new mayor focusing our attention on smart development and social equality, 2016 will be a banner year for the London Festival of Architecture. Election watchers will be familiar with many of this year’s hot topics: community spaces, social housing, docklands renewal. But considering the theme this year is ‘community’, there will be something for every tribe of Londoner. Out of 300 events, we’ve picked the 10 must-sees.thespaces.com

How will President Obama’s move to require overtime pay change architecture?

President Obama signing a bill, via wikimedia.org

President Obama signing a bill, via wikimedia.org

For decades, bosses [in certain professions] have groomed their assistants to be the next generation of big shots by working them long hours for low wages.

Call it the “Devil Wears Prada” economy, after the novel depicting life working for a fictionalized Anna Wintour, the longtime Vogue editor.

But now, with the Obama administration moving to require time-and-a-half overtime pay for most salaried employees making less than $47,476 a year, that business model is suddenly under assault.the New York Times

“The change presents more than an economic challenge for the companies that rely on the willingness of young, ambitious workers to trade pay and self-respect for a shot at a prestige job down the road.”

The article doesn’t explicitly reference architecture, but as Archinect’s past coverage on the state of internships in the field makes clear, it could. Many firms employ a business model that involves underpaying interns and other young workers – or not paying them at all.

Like many of the employers quoted in the article, some architects contend that this culture breeds better architects in the long run. Additionally, since some firms won’t be able to afford overtime hours, their interns will end up getting less “training time” (and fewer opportunities to impress the highers-up).

Thoughts?

For related coverage, check out these links:

 

Website Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: